S: Rhine River Cruise on the AmaDolce from Amsterdam to Budapest July 2012
BC: DEPARTED | Budapest | 22 July 2012 | Photographer and Author Paulette Roth Phoenix, Arizona | Jim Roth
FC: Rhine River Cruise Amsterdam to Budapest
1: AmaDolce | Europe | ARRIVED 08 Jul 2012 | A spectacular river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest through five countries on the MS AmaDolce. A most memorable journey.
5: Amsterdam ..canals ..windmills ..The Whale ..............Museum ..1 million bikes and 750,000 residents ..cars falling in the canal and buildings leaning ..house boats ..shuttered windows ..pulleys to access the top floor ..red-light district ..tulip bulbs ..Anne Frank house ..VanGogh
7: Life on the ship..... ..The Daily Cruiser news for the day ..folded towel animals ..dinner with wine..more wine.. and yet more wine ..elegant food in small portions ..gelato every day for lunch | Cabin 222
8: Monday, 9th of July, 2:00 pm... the AmaDolce sails for Germany
11: FLORIADE | "Be part of the theater in nature; get closer to the quality of life." Every 10 years Floriade, World Horticultural Exhibition, is held in the Netherlands. The setting for the 2012 Floriade is in Venlo, a city in the Dutch province of Limburg. Bringing together more than 100 exhibitors from dozens of countries, there are five themed worlds connected by wooded areas. | Tuesday, 10th of July 2012
12: Koln, as it is called in German, is Germany's fourth largest city and sits right on the banks of Father Rhine. Founded by the Romans in 50BC because of its natural harbor, the city grew quickly to be one of the largest communities during the middle ages. Cologne holds the relics of the three kings, Magi, for which the impressive cathedral was built.
15: ...city fountains, colorful centuries old row houses, Chicago Steakhouse, outdoor eating on a square, built on the river, history, the cathedral...
16: No other river in the world has a greater concentration of castles and castle ruins than in the Rhine Gorge between Koblenz and Rudesheim. Steep slopes covered with vineyards and castles are accompanied by picturesque villages. The center of the river was the perfect spot to view castles. | Wednesday, 11th of July 2012
22: Rudesheim..... home to Riesling wine, Sigfried's Mechanical Musical Museum and quaint buildings covered with paintings, carvings, vines and window boxes. Charming.......
26: Life on the River Low Bridges River side camping Barge homes with cars Locks..lots and lots of locks
27: Locks... wait your turn... enter... gate closes... water flows in or out... level and you exit... 68 locks and 1128 miles on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers The numbers found on both banks along the river are kilometer markers. Each city has a sign along the bank and flags for their area.
28: Bridges can be low, and this lock gate was also. We touched it as we sailed under with water dripping down on us . | To raise and lower the ship huge tanks store and release water to the lock. | Tight squeeze..... There was always less than one foot between the ship and the wall of the locks.
29: The locks had "groupies" who where fascinated with the process of raising and lowering the ship. There was a crowd on deck each time we passed through a lock. Several passengers opened their room's sliding door and wrote in the moss that covered the walls of the lock.
30: Miltenberg | Thursday, 12th of July
31: The medieval buildings and their decoration tell a story: who built the building and when, who owned the building and their trade, what the high flood level was and the year. You even know if the mason got paid, his mark was added after payment. Religious decoration protected the building, those who live there and announced their belief to the world.
32: Half Timbered homes in original colors at every turn, a walk along narrow passageways to the hilltop and down again, a town square, craftsmanship that has lasted centuries; this is Miltenberg.
34: Wertheim: at the confluence of the Main and Tauber Rivers. The Wertheim Castle, built in 1200, controlled the river wine trade and overlooked the town. The very center of town is the "Marktplatz" (Market Square) with the city fountain and the "mooning" cherub. The stone mason was not paid by the mayor and so he "mooned" him in the carving. Buildings were taxed by the width of the building at the base and inventive craftsman at Number 6 built out the upper floors.
37: Residenz Prince Bishop of the Schonborn Family | Wurzburg is in northwestern Bavaria and located in a sub-region called "Franconia". The baroque palace is the residenz of the prince-bishop. Bishops given the status of prince in the 13th century by Friedrich II and abolished by Napoleon in 1830, with the creation of the King of Bavaria. The prince-bishops became wealthy and powerful as religious and secular rulers.
38: A village in the Tauber River Valley surrounded by a city wall with towers, gates and stone arched passageways. Charming...... | Passageways | Towers
41: Storybook | Charm | Picturesque
42: Kitzingen Friday, 13th of July 2012 | According to the legend the countess of Schwanberg, Hadeloga, lost her jeweled scarf while standing on the ramparts of her castle overlooking the Main River Valley. She promised to build a monastery where the scarf would be found. A shepherd named "Kitz," hence the name Kitzengen, found the scarf. The countess kept her promise and founded a Benedictine monastery in the 8th century. Today Kitzengen is famous for its wines and our wine tasting takes place in the oldest wine cellar in Germany.
44: Bamberg Saturday, 14th of July | An artist with a sense of humor. | The region produces over 200 types of beer. A Hamburg's specialty is a smoked dark red ale with bacon aftertaste. This UNESCO World Heritage site is known for an abundance of historical buildings.
45: Architectural Embellishment
46: Regnitz River
48: You could always count on seeing country churches along the river. Hundreds of wonderful scenes of a quaint village and the church always present. The wild flowers in the foreground and the the hills at the horizon made this picture especially appealing to me.
49: The walled city of medieval ...Nuremberg | Sunday, 15th of July, 2012
50: Nuremberg first appears in records of 1050 and during the 13th century developed into one of Europe's greatest trade towns. The "Burg" (Citadel) was built in the 11th century and the medieval city was completed in 1452 with a total of 126 towers.
52: Restored after WWII using the stone rubble. The original stones have holes in the center where they were lifted with huge tongs.
53: snowball pastries, Albrecht Durer, Lebkuchen (Gingerbread), the Third Reich and the Nazi Party
54: Town squares require a glockenspiel, a fountain, tourists and people selling their products.
55: Continental Divide
56: Regensburg Monday, 16th of July, 2012 | famous stone arch bridge built by the Romans
57: Craftsman in Germany cities seem to add humor to their public art and make for an interesting tour. The Rathaus or city hall had metal bars attached to the outside of the building as the official measure but only for that city.
58: Next to the stone bridge is the oldest sausage kitchen in all of Germany, dating back to 1135. Two thin sausages on a homemade hard roll with homemade sweet mustard and sauerkraut. The best we have ever eaten. Just go right into the kitchen to place your order and feel the warmth of the wood burning stove. Each town had several bier gardens and this was very nice between four buildings in a tree shaded setting. The waitress in folk costume added a nice touch to a pleasant stop.
59: The metal measuring bars are on this building on the left. | Regensburg was spared during WWII and the buildings remain as they were. Wealth came from salt and the building as you come into town was once filled with salt, now a museum. To show off how wealthy one was from the salt trade, a tower was built onto homes and places of business. The taller the tower, the more money you had. If you owed money you could dismantle a floor from your tower and the materials used to pay your debt.
61: St. Peter's Cathedral echo your foot steps as you walk on the stone floors and the ceilings seem to never end. Your neck aches from finding the pipe organ hung up high and locating the arched windows of stained glass. My favorite place of worship was next to the cathedral. The space was bright with white walls and clear arched windows. Oil paintings adorned the interior and the parquetry on the entry door had a French feel.
63: Weltenburg Abbey | The abbey is situated on a peninsula in the Danube, on Weltenburg Narrows or Danube Gorge. The monastery, the oldest in Bavaria, was formed by Irish or Scottish monks in 620. The monastery courtyard is surrounded by Baroque buildings, the highlight of which is the abbey church dedicated to Saint George. The Asam brothers built the church between 1716 and 1739. The outside of the church gives no clue as to what awaits you upon entry. The high baroque style leaves you in awe. The monks brewed bier here and the process continues today. Soft pretzels freshly baked just added to our experience. Prepare to be shocked on the next page, the inside of this church.
65: A full size statue of Saint George slaying a dragon above the altar, makes this a very unusual church. The area is lit from windows in the painted room behind the altar. The ceiling paintings glow from the windows in the domed space, as a cherub dangles over the edge. The pictures do not capture the space.
67: King Ludwig I contracted the Liberation Hall in memory of the Wars of Liberation fought by the German states against Napoleon. The hall is on Michelsberg Hill in the town of Kelheim that we reached by boat down the Danube Gorge.
69: Passau was the last town in Germany we visited. St. Stephen's cathedral has one of the largest church organs in the world and is one of 52 churches in this town of 150,000. Napoleon called Passau the "most Italian looking city north of the Alps." The Oberhaus Fortress was owned by a former prince-bishop and dominates the town. Our bus takes us out of Passau to Salzburg for the day and of course, it is the county churches that are caught by my camera. If only it was not through the window of a moving bus.
70: Salzburg | In 1756 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg greatest son, was born. His name is found on boxes of candy, restaurants and inns. | Sausage platters for lunch and street vendor pretzels are popular with tourists as well as McDonald's located with a ornate traditional sign. Golden arches are everywhere.
71: Home to over one hundred churches.
73: The city is located on the site of Roman Juvavum on a major military road of the ancient world. Salzburg was created in the 17th and 18th century in the baroque style. The churches, palaces and castles where built during major construction programs by the reining Prince-bishops Wolf Dietrich, Markus Sittikus and Paris Lodron. In 1816 Salzburg became part of the Hapsburg Empire. The views of the city from the hill top palace reveal the alps that lay beyond. The palace is a city unto itself with streets, a church, street vendors and eateries with a view.
75: Tourist come to see Salzburg architecture, the alps, and the location of the world famous "Sound of Music" filmed in 1964. Recognize the garden gate. The family escaped through the church court yard and hide among the columns as they made their way to the mountains beyond the reach of the Germans.
76: Salzburg Lakes Area
77: The lakes of Mondsee and the famous wedding church in the Sound of Music.
78: Linz, Austria | An evening stroll along the river after a day in Salzburg was all we saw of Linz, a city of contrasts. Historic churches in the background with modern sculpture along the river banks. A lite building that changed color every few minutes to the music it played over the water. Linz is 30 km from theCzech border and a "no man's land" during WWII.
79: Melk has been an important spiritual and culture center in Austria for over 1000 years.
81: Melk Abbey
84: Reusable caskets and Bones glorified
85: Abbey garden House for the Prince Bishop's visit and garden Parties
87: Scenes along the river from Melk to Durnstein | Grapes are planted to capture the sun along the rivers of western Germany and Austria.
89: The Wachau valley is one of the most beautiful and famous regions in Austria. The Kuenring Dynasty, descendants of Bavarian and Saxon nobility, were given parts of Wachau and Durnstein by the dukes of Babenberg. The steep rock riverbanks gave protection against floods and left space for a settlement and fortification. This was of great importance to a ruler. It is in the Kuenringer Castle, whose ruins still overlook Durnstein, that the English King Richard the Lionheart was held prisoner in 1192-93. | Bikers cross the river by boat.
91: St. Stephen's Cathedral survived WWII but bombing shattered the stain glass windows. The broken glass was reused as solid pieces to commemorate what was lost. Grave decorations have been added to the outside of the cathedral as well as inside.
92: McDonalds...... fills the void between bridge supports.
93: A wedding dress CAKE...yes cake. | Roman ruins below street level.
94: The Hofburg Palace was the residence of the Hapsburg's who ruled for 600 years; the building reflects the Gothic and the Ringstrasse style. Today it is the Austrian President's offices, a fine arts museum, National Library and home to the Spanish riding school.
95: The Mozart Café for apple strudel was a must see stop for many of our group. They offered so much more. A ride in a carriage was also available for those who wanted to see the city the old fashion way.
96: Schonbrunn Palace
97: The Hapsburg's summer palace is the most famous and beautiful palace in Vienna and one of the best known in Europe. The enormous garden features latticed rooms lining either side of a garden, a classical colonnade, reflecting pools, zoo and Botanical Garden.
98: A evening city tour and a Mozart and Strauss concert at a palace ended our day in Vienna. The contemporary painted canvases on the wall and ceiling in such a classical building was a surprise.
100: Bratislava Pressburg....Slovakia Friday, 20th of July 2012 | As you enter Bratislava, two ruins in contrast; one ancient and noteworthy, the other a cheap tourist motel boarded up. The city was the same; bustling streets decorated with flower baskets a block away from crumbling walls. | Statues, public transportation, the catholic church, dining in the street and communism defined the city. | Changing borders, changing political rule and affiliations have made a mark on the city.
102: Worst Toilet Experience Ever!
103: Burg Castle
104: $1.60 for a Slovak beer and .90 for a warm pretzel in a beer garden decorated with flowers. Bud anyone. Mozart got around and cities like to point that out. Men at Work was one of many bronze statues flung about the city. Smoked knee is a Slovak food and people like to eat it in covered seating areas in the middle of the cobbled street. The American embassy was in one piece when we visited. Maybe they have a high bike thief rate and painting your bike a funky color makes it easy to identify. Are we in Amsterdam?
106: Danube River
108: All hands on deck to greet Budapest.
110: From the smell in the park, people found a way around paying to use a bathroom. During the war, the natural labyrinth of caves under the city became a refuge from the bombing. | Bullet holes from WWII are still seen on this building on the Buda side of the river in the Castle District.
111: A great spot for a Hungarian beer was at this colorful café. The bathrooms were in the basement along with an old rathskeller with dining. The old cities in Europe are not handicap accessible, with most restrooms in a basement.
112: Heroes Square
113: The city market in Pest was an enormous historic indoor space with flea market type booths. The locals were shopping for their groceries using their woven baskets from home. I was a bit overwhelmed and it was a very good spot for pick pockets to work.
114: A city of contrasts; well preserved buildings and historical architecture in decay with no evidence of rescue.
117: Our last night was magical as we cruised the river, viewing the illuminated buildings that took on ghostly appearances. Oh! for a tripod and a stationary spot to set it up and take my time to capture my shot. A photographers lament on a tour regulated by others. My hope is that my photographs conjure memories, not only of visions we enjoyed but the smells, sounds and emotions of visiting new places in the world. What is lacking is the people we met and the conversations lost to the past. We have yet to reach the end.
118: Donna and Jack Kidney The Villages, Florida | Jakie and Raul Lujan Ellicott City, Maryland | Diana and Janos Berto "These are my friends, give them some wine." The wine flowed.
119: Jack and Liz Terpstra Mount Hope, Ontario, Canada | Pat Cornwall and Herb Whyte Summerfield, Florida | Judy Jennings and Jeff Marshal New York and Florida | Cilla and George Adler Yankalilla, South Australia
120: Celebrate Good Times | Shoot.....
121: Evelyn Kamback | Judy and Rodger Frank Placentria, California | Dancing the night away. | Jim and Paulette Roth 2012